An Appetizer:  SESAME EGGPLANT DIP WITH SOY SAUCE – MINCED GARLIC – LEMON JUICE – RED WINE – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

For 4:

–eggplant (fresh, medium size)

–soy sauce (3 tablespoons, bottled)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–lemon juice (2 squirts, bottled)

–red wine (2 tablespoons)

–extra virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon)

–sesame seeds (2 tablespoons, bottled)

1 – Prick the eggplant all around, generously.  Place in the microwave, on an uncovered plate, and microwave for 5 minutes.  Turn over, and then microwave for 5 minutes more.  Let cool.  Then cut into 2 pieces, and rake out the pulp, discarding the skin.

2 – Criss-cross the pulp with a knife.  Then place in a mixing bowl.  Add soy sauce, minced garlic, lemon juice, red wine, sesame seeds, and extra virgin olive oil.  Stir well.

3 – Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with crackers.

–eggplant dip inspired by Better Homes and Garden magazine.

Advertisements

SALMON SMOTHERED IN HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING WITH WHITE WINE & TOPPED WITH GREEN ONIONS & PARSLEY / EGGPLANT DIP WITH FINELY DICED FRESH TOMATO & BASIL – PARMESAN – GREEN ONION – PARSLEY – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL – RED WINE & SERVED ATOP WHEAT CRACKERS

Note:  Serve the eggplant dip as an appetizer.  Make ahead and chill.

For 4:

Eggplant dip–

–eggplant (small, about 6 inches long)

–tomato (small, chopped very fine)

–basil (chopped fine, 2 tablespoons fresh; or 1 teaspoon dried)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded, 2 heaping tablespoons)

–green onion (1 stalk, finely chopped)

–parsley (1 handful, finely chopped, fresh)

–extra virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon)

–red wine (3 tablespoons)

–wheat crackers (or your choice)

Salmon–

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–honey mustard salad dressing (use a gourmet variety if possible; one-eighth cup)

–white wine (one-eighth cup)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–parsley (fresh if possible, 1 handful, chopped)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – For the eggplant dip, place all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and stir well.  Chill well before serving with wheat crackers.

2 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.  Pour the white wine over and around the salmon.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour the honey mustard salad dressing on the salmon.  Sprinkle green onions and parsley on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 7 and one-half minutes.  (The dressing and wine will co-mingle for a good-tasting sauce.)

4 – Serve the salmon hot, atop couscous, pasta, rice, or quinoa (see the search box on this blog for cooking directions).

–recipes original.

PENNE PASTA WITH BITE-SIZED CHICKEN & GREEN PEAS SEASONED BY BASIL – MINCED GARLIC – LEMON SLICES IN BROTH AND TOPPED WITH PARMESAN / CREAMY EGGPLANT DIP WITH MINCED GARLIC & BAKED ONION

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–penne pasta

–green peas

–basil (fresh if possible)

–minced garlic (bottled)

–lemon slices (fresh)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–eggplant (large)

–onion (1, medium)

–yogurt (non-fat, plain)

–crackers (for dip)

1 – Wash and puncture the eggplant all around with a fork.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes; then turn over and microwave for 5 minutes more.  Cool in the refrigerator.  Peel and cut an onion into eight pieces.  Place in a covered baking dish with a very little water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 10 minutes.  Let cool.

2 – When eggplant has cooled, cut off the stalk, and then cut the eggplant lengthwise.  Rake out the pulp onto a cutting board.  Cut the eggplant two ways.  Add to a mixing bowl.  Season with salt, pepper, minced garlic, and olive oil.  Add the baked onion to the mixing bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of yogurt.  Stir very well.  Refrigerate until time for dinner.

3 – Place 1 cup of penne pasta in an uncovered baking dish with water to cover.  Season with olive oil.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then microwave for 5 minutes more on 50 percent power.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

4 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.With a very sharp knife, cut a fresh lemon into slices.  Place the slices atop the chicken.  Microwave on high for 5 and one-half minutes.

5 – Place one-half cup of green peas in a covered baking dish with a little chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, minced garlic, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

6 – Drain the pasta and add to the green peas.  Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and add to the green peas.  Stir gently.  Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.

7 – Serve the eggplant dip with crackers as an appetizer.  Then serve the chicken pasta hot.

–eggplant dip adapted from Minimalist Baker blog; chicken pasta adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Cooking.

COD SPRINKLED IN BREADCRUMBS WITH MUSHROOMS – ONION – GARLIC – PARSLEY IN SHERRY – BROTH – FAUX BUTTER SAUCE / EGGPLANT DIP WITH ROSEMARY – ONION – GARLIC – RED WINE / SPRING MIX SALAD WITH SHREDDED CARROTS – ZUCCHINI PENNIES – SLICED ALMONDS – FETA IN CREAMY CAESAR DRESSING

–cod (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–mushrooms (medium baby bellas, 2, sliced)

–onion (fresh, one-quarter, sliced)

–garlic powder (bottled with parsley)

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–sherry (cooking sherry is fine)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–Promise margarine (heart-healthy)

–breadcrumbs (plain, boxed)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–eggplant (medium, fresh)

–rosemary (fresh is much better than dried)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–spring mix salad (one-half package)

–shredded carrots (1 handful)

–zucchini (1, medium, sliced into rounds)

–sliced almonds (generous sprinkle)

–feta cheese (one-fourth of a small container)

–creamy Caesar salad dressing (I use Paul Newman)

1 – Wash and puncture all round a medium-sized eggplant.  Place on a microwaveable plate and microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Then turn over, and microwave for 5 minutes more.  Let cool, either on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator.  When cool, cut off the stalk, and then slice vertically, once.  Rake out the pulp onto a cutting board.  Cut 2 ways, repeatedly.  Then place the pulp in a mixing bowl.  Mince one-quarter onion, and add to the bowl.  Snip rosemary from 1 stalk, and add to the bowl.  Season with garlic powder and red wine.  Stir well.  Keep in the refrigerator, covered, until time for dinner.

2 – Wash and slice 2 medium-sized baby bella mushrooms, and place in a covered baking dish.  Slice one-quarter onion and place in dish with mushrooms.  Add a little sherry and a little chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  When finished, nestle the cod amid the mushrooms and onion.  Microwave 1 tablespoon of Promise margarine in a covered baking dish.  Pour the margarine over the cod.  Sprinkle a little bit of breadcrumbs over the cod.  Season the cod with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Place one-half package of spring mix salad greens in a mixing bowl.  Add 1 handful of shredded carrots, 1 peeled and sliced zucchini, and a generous sprinkle of sliced almonds.  Season with salt and pepper.  Just before serving, add creamy Caesar salad dressing and stir well.  Sprinkle one-fourth container of feta cheese on top. 

4 – Microwave the cod on high for 6 and one-half minutes.

5 – Serve the eggplant dip with crackers as a first course.  Then serve the salad as a second course.  Serve the cod as the entrée.  I also served baby lima beans with the cod (recipe, see the search box on this blog).

–cod adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way; salad and eggplant dip original.

COD WITH CRUSHED ALMONDS – PARSLEY – LEMON IN FAUX BUTTER SAUCE / SMALL YELLOW DUTCH POTATOES WITH DILL / JAPANESE EGGPLANT IN DIP WITH PARMESAN – TOMATO SAUCE – PARSLEY – BANANA PEPPER – ONION – GARLIC

–cod (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–almonds (crushed in food processor, 2 tablespoons crushed)

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–lemon juice

–Promise margarine (heart healthy)

–small yellow Dutch potatoes (half a package, fresh)

–dill (fresh if possible)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–Japanese eggplant (3, fresh)

–Parmesan cheese

–tomato sauce (one-fourth cup, canned)

–banana pepper (1 inch, chopped finely)

–Vidalia onion (one-half)

–garlic salt

–sugar (1 teaspoon)

–crackers (for eggplant dip)

1 – Wash the Japanese eggplants, and then pierce all around with a fork.  Line up the three eggplants on a plate, and then microwave for 5 minutes on high; turn over and microwave for 5 minutes more.  Let cool (in the refrigerator if in a hurry).  When eggplants have cooled, cut off the stem, and then cut lengthwise.  Rake out the pulp, discarding the skin.  Cut the pulp from the eggplants two ways on a cutting board.  Place in a mixing bowl.  Add to the bowl one-fourth cup of tomato sauce, 1 inch of banana pepper chopped finely, one-half Vidalia onion chopped finely, garlic salt to taste, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Stir well.  Place in a serving bowl and then refrigerator until time for dinner.

2 – Wash the Dutch potatoes, and then cut in 2 pieces any that are larger than an inch.  Place in a covered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, dill, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 15 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

3 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Drench in lemon juice.  In a food processor, pulse about a dozen almonds until minced to make 2 tablespoons.  Spread the almonds on top of the cod.  Microwave 1 tablespoon of margarine for 20 seconds, covered.  Pour the margarine over the cod.  Chop the parsley and add on top of the cod.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes, while the first course of eggplant dip is being served.

4 – Serve the Japanese eggplant dip as a first course, with crackers.  Serve the cod hot, with the Dutch potatoes as a side.

–cod adapted from a trout recipe in The Best of French Cooking; other recipes original.

PARMESAN – ALMOND FLOUNDER WITH MUSHROOMS & VIDALIA ONION IN WHITE WINE SAUCE / QUINOA WITH BROTH / TOMATO EGGPLANT DIP WITH ONION – PARSLEY – BANANA PEPPER

–flounder (2, medium, thawed from frozen)

–Parmesan cheese

–almonds (sliced, one-half package)

–mushrooms (baby bellas, 1 handful)

–Vidalia onions     (2, divided, small)

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–parsley

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–garlic salt

–quinoa (traditional, boxed)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–tomato sauce (3 tablespoons)

–eggplant (large, 1, fresh)

–banana pepper (one-third, fresh, minced)

–pita chips

 

1 – Well before dinner, prepare the eggplant.  Wash and then pierce all around with a fork.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes; then turn over and microwave for 5 minutes more.  Let cool, either on the counter or in the refrigerator.  When cool, cut off the stalk, and then cut the eggplant lengthwise.  Rake out the pulp onto a cutting board.  Cut two ways.  Then place in a mixing bowl.  Finely dice 1 small Vidalia onion and one-third banana pepper.  Place in the bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce.  Season with salt, parsley, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Refrigerate until time for dinner.

2 – Place two-thirds cup of quinoa in a covered baking dish.  Add one and one-third cup chicken broth.  Season with salt and olive oil.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 9 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

3 – Slice 1 small Vidalia onion and place in a covered baking dish.  Then wash and place 1 handful of sliced mushrooms in the dish.  Add a small amount of white wine.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Then nestle the flounder in the wine sauce.  Season the flounder with garlic salt, salt, and pepper.  Sprinkle sliced almonds and Parmesan cheese on top of the flouder.  Finish with parsley.  Microwave on high for 4 and one-half minutes.

4 – Serve the eggplant dip as an appetizer, with pita chips.  Then serve the flounder hot atop the quinoa.

–eggplant and flounder adapted from the food network web site; quinoa original.

PESTO COD / PARMESAN CORN PUDDING / EGGPLANT DIP WITH BASIL – TOMATO – ONION – BLACK OLIVES

–cod (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–pesto paste

–mayonnaise

–lemon juice

–garlic salt

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–eggplant (small, fresh)

–basil (fresh if possible)

–tomato (3 slices, fresh, large)

–onion (1, divided)

–black olives (one-half small can)

–corn (frozen, 1 package)

–Parmesan cheese

–milk (dairy, almond, or soy)

–eggs (2, medium)

–cornbread stuffing (3 tablespoons)

 

1 – Ahead of time, pierce the eggplant with a fork all-around.  Place on a plate.  Microwave for 4 minutes; then turn over and microwave for 5 minutes more.  Let cool, either on the counter or in the refrigerator.  Then cut the eggplant vertically and scoop out the pulp.  On a cutting board, cut the eggplant two ways, then place the pulp in a mixing bowl.  Dice 3 slices of tomato and one-half onion, and place in the bowl.  Add one-half can of black olives.  Season with salt, pepper, basil, garlic salt, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Refrigerator until time for dinner.

2 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Drench with lemon juice.  In a small bowl, measure 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of pesto paste.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir vigorously.  Spoon the sauce over the cod.  Set aside.

3 – Puree 1 cup of corn (thawed), 2 eggs, one-half cup milk, one-half cup of Parmesan cheese, and 3 tablespoons of cornbread stuffing in a food processor.  Empty into a wide-mouthed, covered baking dish.  Slice one-half onion and place in a small baking dish.  Add water to cover.  Microwave for 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup of corn and the onion to the corn pudding.  Season with olive oil.  Stir well.  Microwave for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir.  Then microwave for 3 minutes more.

4 – Microwave the cod for 6 minutes.

5 – Serve the eggplant dip as an appetizer; then serve the cod with the corn pudding as a side.

–cod adapted from Instant Gourmet (Ceil Dyer, author); corn pudding adapted from Real Simple; eggplant original.

EGGPLANT CAVIAR / ROSEMARY CHICKEN / GLAZED CARROTS

Note: My husband Paul gave this dinner five stars.

 

Eggplant

Onion (one-half)

Parsley (fresh is better)

Red wine

Olive oil

Cayenne pepper

Garlic powder

Mayonnaise (optional)

Triscuits to serve with eggplant

4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

Rosemary (fresh if possible)

Parmesan cheese (shredded)

4 carrots

Brown sugar

Toasted pecan bits

Lemon juice

 

1 – Prepare the eggplant early, so that it has time to cool. Wash eggplant with soap and water; rinse thoroughly. Use a fork to spear the eggplant all over. Place on microwaveable plate. Cook for five minutes. Turn over in microwave, and cook the other side for five minutes. Cool in refrigerator if time is short.

2 – Using a sharp knife, cut the stalk off the eggplant. Then cut the eggplant lengthwise. Using a fork, rack out the eggplant from its skin, discarding the skin. Pile the meat of the eggplant together, flatten slightly, and then cut two ways with a knife. Drop into large mixing bowl.

3 – Grab a handful of fresh parsley. Chop finely. Cut onion in half, and chop the half finely.

4 – Add to the eggplant mixture: parsley, chopped onion, cayenne pepper (not too much), olive oil to taste, garlic powder, salt and pepper, red cooking wine, and mayonnaise (if desired). Stir vigorously.

5 – You will have enough eggplant caviar for two small bowls. Freeze one; set the other in the refrigerator before dinner.

6 – Lay out 4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips in dish with cover. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, snips of rosemary. Set aside.

7 – Drop pecan bits on plate. Toast for 2 minutes in microwave; then stir; then cook for 2 minutes more. Set aside.

8 – Peel 4 carrots with vegetable peeler. Cut in half, and then cut again lengthwise. (Be careful of your fingers.) Place in dish with cover. Add pecan bits, rosemary snips, lemon juice, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, olive oil to top of carrots. Cook for 4 minutes.

9 – At dinner, as an appetizer, serve eggplant caviar with Triscuits. Meanwhile, cook the chicken for 5 minutes. When chicken is done, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

10 – Serve the chicken and carrots immediately.

 

–Eggplant caviar and carrots adapted from Real Simple; chicken adapted from Carmelo’s (St. Paul, Minnesota).